Saturday, September 22, 2007

Edmund Cardoni

Dear Jesse Frasier,

Could you please post the poll question “Should Astria Suparak be retained/reinstated as Director of The Warehouse Gallery?”

I would vote YES to that wholeheartedly, which would mean Jeff Hoone would have to reverse what has clearly shown itself to be a wrong administrative decision on his part, as demonstrated by the virtual unanimity—or at least overwhelming preponderance—of pro-Astria postings from Syracuse U., Syracuse artists, and professional colleagues across the country.

But I don’t necessarily see grounds for Jeff’s resignation in that, which would just mean two valued contributors to our field would be out of jobs. (I would, however, join in calling for Jeff’s resignation if this really did turn out to be about censoring the Yes Men show, or controversial shows—or even just funky ones!—as a general policy.)

>From their own blog comments, there seem to be people in Syracuse, unfortunately identifying themselves only as “Anonymous”—which I feel is cowardly, by the way—who obviously just don’t like Jeff, and would just as soon see him gone, on this pretext or any other that might arise. But I think our goal should be Astria’s reinstatement, and not Jeff’s resignation.

And I have no basis on which to vote for the dismantling of the CMAC, just because Jeff made the wrong call in this case, or might even be the wrong guy for the job. SUNY at Buffalo (a.k.a. UB) has a Director of UB Art Galleries, Dr. Sandra H. Olsen, who is a great administrator, supportive of her curator’s initiatives, and courageous in her support of provocative and controversial exhibitions of contemporary art in both university and community contexts. So such a structure can work, as long as it’s directed by the right leader, as UB’s is.

Whether Syracuse U.’s is appears seriously in question.


Edmund Cardoni
Executive Director
Hallwalls Cointemporary Arts Center
Buffalo, NY

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To be another cowardly Anonymous (you have to realize that Jeff has a history of firing people and ruining people's careers, and many of us work in photography or for CMAC):

Jeff is not the person to manage CMAC. He may have done great at Light Work, but as the head of CMAC he wields too much power and clearly abuses it.


Syracuse has lost one its greatest assets. Astria Suparak, Inaugural Director of The Warehouse Gallery of Syracuse University, was removed from her position as of Sept. 30th, 2007, despite widespread support from community members, students, faculty, and the international art community. This decision was made unilaterally by Jeffrey Hoone, Executive Director of the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC).

At the time of Suparak's dismissal, Hoone also canceled her forthcoming exhibitions, including "Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men," due to open in November 2007.